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The Bible Vs. Modern Israel

28.12.2009
 
Pages: 12
The Bible Vs. Modern Israel

By Babu G. Ranganathan

Although the modern state of Israel, having been established, has the right to exist like any other nation, Israel must also respect the Palestinians' right to their land in the West Bank. But, Israel keeps building Jewish settlements in the West Bank. That is the main reason why the majority of Palestinians continue to support the radical organization Hamas.

The only reason why Israel finally got out of Gaza was because of Hamas' successful attacks on Israeli settlements in Gaza. Otherwise Israel would have continued building settlements in Gaza indefinitely. In the West Bank, however, Israel methodically continues to confiscate Arab land to build Jewish settlements. More and more Palestinians in the West Bank lose their property and homes every year because of this.

Most Palestinians would stop supporting Hamas if only Israel completely withdrew from the West Bank as it did in Gaza. Then, perhaps, Palestinians would agree to recognize Israel. Let Israel try this and then if the majority of Palestinians still won't recognize Israel and continue to support terrorist attacks against Israel, no one will blame Israel for re-taking the land back and even annexing it.

U.N. resolutions demand Israel to withdraw completely from the West Bank. The United States made a big noise under President Bush about applying U.N. resolutions on Saddam Hussein when he was in power. Why doesn't the United States make a big noise about applying U.N. resolutions to Israel?

Unlike Hamas, the Palestinian Authority is willing to recognize Israel and work with Israel, but Israel's continued occupation of the West bank and expansion of Jewish settlements on Arab land exacerbate the situation and cause the majority of Palestinians to support Hamas instead of the Palestinian Authority.

In 1967 Israel went to war in self-defense and captured Arab land. Israel was right in defending itself. However, the issue now is no longer so much self-defense. The problem is that Israel will not pull back to its pre-1967 borders so long as many Israelis and most evangelical Christians in America continue to believe that present day Jews have a biblical right to all of Arab territory in Palestine. For this reason a biblical examination of the issue is necessary.

As an evangelical and conservative Christian, of Indian origin, I wish to set the biblical issue in proper perspective.

Although the modern state of Israel now has every right to exist as any other nation (as long as it honors the UN resolutions upholding Palestinian rights) this does not mean that Zionism (the belief that Jews have a biblical right to all of Palestine) is correct. And it is Zionism that is primarily fuelling the building and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Arab land.

From a purely biblical perspective Zionism has enormous problems.

The fact is that almost none of the Jews in modern Israel are descendants of the original Jews of Palestine thousands of years ago. Most of the Jews in Israel today are descendants of Europeans who had converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages (known as Khazar or Ashkenazi Jews).

The last time God had promised in the scriptures to bring the Jews back to their ancestral homeland was fulfilled centuries ago when He brought them back from their Babylonian captivity. Thus, the Jews in present-day modern Israel are not a fulfillment of that ancient promise.

Furthermore, God's promises concerning the land to the Jews in the Old Testament were conditional - only so long as they continued to obey Him were those promises concerning the land binding (read Deuteronomy 28). In any case, as I have already noted, God fulfilled his promise concerning the land to the Jews centuries ago.

We read in the Book of Joshua 21:43, 45: "And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." Thus, there is no promise concerning the land that still awaits any fulfillment.

Most evangelical Christians today are looking forward to the seven-year tribulation period of Israel which would require for the Jews to be in the land. But this period had already occurred in history during AD63 to AD70. (seven years) when the Roman army besieged and destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple.

It was this destruction that Jesus said would mark the end of the age (the Jewish Age, that is). During these seven years, there was a brief respite from the attacking Roman army and this respite gave an opportunity for believing Jews (Christians) of this time to escape the final destruction of Jerusalem and have their lives spared.

Most evangelical Christians, who are dispensationalists, are still seeking for an Israel that the New Testament says is the spiritual body of Christ made up of both Jew and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ and who together (as one seed) inherit the same (not different) promises (Galatians 3:14-16).

Pages: 12
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